Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chair Devlet Bahçeli called on the U.S. to put aside its constantly shifting stances and to stand with Turkey as an ally.
Speaking at his party's weekly parliamentary group meeting, Bahçeli lashed out at the U.S. for its ongoing support of the PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG) and said: "Do not take tortuous ways. If you are an enemy, act like one. If you are an ally, stand with Turkey."
In relation to Turkey's Operation Olive Branch in Afrin, Syria started on Jan. 20 with the aim of eliminating terrorists along the borders and enabling Syrians to return to their homes, Bahçeli stressed that Turkey respects the territorial integrity of Syria, and the operation has been conducted within this framework.
The MHP chair also criticized a U.S. Department of State spokesperson's statements claiming that the U.N. Security Council's decision of a 30-day cease-fire in Syria covers Turkey's Afrin operation as well. Bahçeli said the U.N.'s resolution does not reference the Afrin operation and added that Turkey is not part of any side in a war.
Bahçeli highlighted that while the U.S. arms support of the YPG continues and the terrorists are openly trained, stepping back is not an option until all the terrorists are eliminated.
The U.S.' partnership with the YPG and the Democratic Union Party (PYD) has been risking relations with its NATO ally, Turkey. Turkish officials have been reiterating that the duty of preventing the downward spiral in relations falls on the U.S. Ankara expects Washington to take concrete steps and end its support of the YPG, which has inextricable ties to the PKK.